The Promoting Life Skills and Livelihoods project commonly referred to as Skills for Life (S4L) was designed to strengthen the income-generating capabilities of youth (both refugee and from the host community) in Kakuma by enhancing their technical, financial, life and literacy skills to improve their chances of an enriched livelihood.
"I have always had a passion for working with marginalised communities; offering them a chance to view life differently and create a better future for themselves. My role as the Project Manager for the Skills for Life project was timely and came two years after working in Dadaab Refugee Camp, Garissa County.
My role is dynamic as I am responsible for the overall implementation of the project; ensuring proper coordination of planned activities by staff and with partner agencies while fulfilling the project's objective of target beneficiaries accessing quality training sessions. Working in a fragile environment is an exciting challenge and when I step back and observe the impact the project is making, I feel fulfilled. A typical day begins with catching up with the project team and discussing emerging issues which if not addressed, could affect the project. We brainstorm on workable solutions to challenges we face while in the field and discuss the next steps in detail." > More
Since its inception, the project saw the delivery of technical skills training to 3,096 beneficiaries who generated a total income of CHF 135,411 from their businesses. Many youths benefitted from the project intervention of increasing access to financial services through group savings and lending activities. By the end of the second phase, CHF 672,299 had been loaned out and allocated to attend to different needs. More
Even if the project’s mandate was limited to strengthening the income-generating capabilities of youth, it acknowledged that this alone could not holistically benefit the refugees as they faced immense uncertainties trying to return to normalcy in a foreign land. Language barriers, lack of basic needs and a sense of belonging, poor living conditions, unemployment and culture shock are some of the challenges they face every day. The Skills for Life project team found it necessary to partner with other stakeholders who offer psychosocial support services and often referred beneficiaries who needed help. Ultimately, those who were supported displayed better engagement in the training sessions and business group integration as they viewed themselves as active survivors rather than passive victims. More
Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation
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